Some of your viewpoints are very valid and I agree with them. I have also did part of my schooling from a Christian institution and haven't been forced to follow any of their religious faiths. My personal opinion is that the Christian institutions have done more to furthering education and have been more accessible to all classes of people.
Some of your concerns on Chennai people and society are not true. People here are more accommodative to other faiths and it is just a matter of whom do you interact with and develop your opinions. Just step out and watch the middle class and lower class people in chennai streets or people living in congested apartments. You would find them to be more lively, open, friendly, accommodative and tolerant of every faith. I wish you better experiences going forward.
I feel that this statement of mine "Good to know that PSBB gives preference for Iyers/Iyengars. Not that I am one, but I can expect what would most likely be the result if I apply to that school." has been misunderstood. So let me clarify.
Firstly let me tell, that I am not an Iyer or Iyengar. I am a Christian. My comments were a bit sarcastic. What I actually meant was that in case I apply to PSBB my application will most likely be rejected as I am not an Iyengar or Iyer. So good to know that before hand itself instead of wondering the reason why I havent got admission.
That was quick by way of response! But I would differ with you regarding your views about Chennai people being "friendly, accomodative and tolerant" of every faith. A quick look at the Hindu "For rental" column would tell you more about the intolerence of this town that I can. Ask any non Chennaite (some one who has grown up in other towns) and you will know what I mean. But then that is not the focus of discussion in this forum.
But I think we should all recognize and acknowledge the role of the Christian institutions in promoting quality education in our country. They have not been discriminatory in any way - relgious or economic. There are some really remote places in our coutnry which I have visited as part of my work where the government education system has failed to reach but the church has ! Can we negate that and say that it is on account of the "ulteriro motive" of conversion? Even if it is then what is the harm? Every individual has the right to choose and determine his/her religion. If a poor tribal family in Orissa that benefits from Church run education chooses to become christian because they perceive christianity as something that offers them education then they should do so by all means. Afterall India is not just for Hindus?
Bye and have a nice day
I agree to all your points Meera.
our discussion has started to take a different direction. it has become a social issue now which i think should be cut off immediately. this discussion is for the sake of our kids welfare.
Caste, religion and reservations need not be mentioned here which is deviating a worthwhile topic as a neddle in a haystack.
Our politicians have been playing this card successfully to say precisely more better than the british. let us not get into that murk.
Let us give a new dimension to this topic and discuss what can be implemented in schools for the betterment of a child's overall development. Whatever is lacking now how can this be rectified.
I had infact decided to file an RTI to cbse, ncert and Mr.sibal to know more about schools, the rules and regulations et all and publish the same here so that awareness about the requirements and qualifications of a school can be legally ratified.
May be we can form a forum using parentree as our base and create a community that can dictate schools for a change rather than rating schools on our inhibitions and apprehensions.
this is becoming an adverse publicity to all the schools being discussed here. Our children's welfare is lost in this discussion.
feel free to suggest on this.
I agree that this discussion is going out of focus !! About adverse publicity - I am not so sure. We discussed a lot of things which are not heresay but actual facts with regards to these schools which parents feel strongly about and which ultimately have a bearing on their children.
But I agree we can form a group to tackle some of these issues. For starters it would be good if we could get a group together that is interested in addressing such issues. If we have more than say 15 members then we can look at our respective children's schools and identify these discriminatory issues with resepct to admission and identity and then enclose these evidences and write to Kapil Sibbal. I find that he is proactive and I think he will be interested to take up these issues. BTW PSBB is not the only culprit- Sankara school also wants to know the caste of the parents!!!!
Coming back to the group issue , Yes, I would be interested. Once we are together as a group we could decide if we could meet for a while some day since we are based at Chennai and then work on how to proceed on this.
But I am excited- from discussion to action! We seem to be moving in the right direction.
thank u meera,
for supporting this initiative. let us wait until we have more likeminds whose best interests shall be future of the child. our aim should be only to provide a healthy environment for the children and it should start from the basics, their school. so i call upon all parents to lend their valuable suggestions and ideas, to decide the next step towards our target.
Found the discussion quite informative. First the schools in our country are creating discrimnating environments for the children on cast, creed, religion. So our children forget that they are INDIANS. And in the mad rush of score, results we forget to bring the overall intellectual development of children.
I would be very much sure that the teachers in many reputed instituitions would not be aware of our country itself. They are very much ignorant of our national history, national map...........because anybody speaking on this issues would be branded crazy. Yeah sincerely in Chennai we dont find people attaching importance to the nation INDIA. They are very much foccussed on tamil culture, tamil issues. same wise in maharasthra. hope so they realise that they are Indians first and focus on development of values, intellectual thoughts among our students.
Agreed with your points. I think it is ok to be proud about being Tamil so long as we remember that we are all Indians. But I think the problem with some schools in Chennai are slighly worse than that- they are caste centric!! If you recall how caste based roles evolved in our society- you will find that Brahmins were the teachers/ scholars etc and over a period of time appropriated knowledge systems within their caste fold limiting its passover to others. I think an attempt is made by these so called "good" schools to do that as they turn caste centric.
So what happens to children who study in such schools? They are more aware of their caste identity than their state or national identity. These schools also foster a very competitive environmnet where the individual and her/his unique capacities are not recognized. The school defines what is an achievement and what is talent - which ultimately boils down to marks scored in science and maths!!!
This is so contradictory to what is happening today in the world where reportedly boundries are shrinking, people are doing away with caste and religious identities etc etc.
So ultimately what such schools would produce are "frogs in wells" who are so self abosorbed in their caste identities with skills only around certain fields that when the concerned field gets flooded they have nowhere to go to.
Look at the number of private engineering colleges in TN? And also look at what has happened with the recent trend to de recognize them by the government? Tells you that when there is a demand there will be a supply -not necessarily of the optimum quality. I remember my father saying that when he passed out of the Guindy Engineering college in the 1950s he wanted to join the government because of Pandit Nehru's call to the youth to help with nation building. He came from a conservative background, studied in a government aided school with no fancy ideas but which probably had teachers who firmly beleived in giving their best to their students. I am seriously looking for that kind of school and those kind of teachers.
If you come across such sort of school do let me know. Infact in chennai its difficult to find in any of the so called top schools. The education system is just focussed to create software engineers who are doing nothing but low level jobs in coding. And the rest are absorbed into BPOs and call centre in which hardly anything is creative,
So we are having whole generation whose thinking capability are not exploited, they are just satisfied with the call centre, bpo or coding jobs, for a nation to develop we need entrepernuers who have vision to visualise think and contribute to the progress of nation, On the contrary this is another form of slavery where which we are doing all low level jobs in the finance and software sector.
hope the heads of the school are listening
These are different times and a different world. Today teachers view teaching as a means of employment not as a vocation. Few of them are interested beyond completion of syllabus. I am amazed at the high rate of turn over among teachers in my daugther's school ( and this is one of the more child friendly and innovative schools). Gone are the days I think when teachers used to retire from the same school....
I agree with you about the problems in Chennai finding schools that foster real learning. But I wonder if the problem is only with Chennai. Chennai may have a marks fetish when compared to other cities but I think overall the quality of school education is coming to now. I think it would be good if the government can impose strict benchmarks with respect to education atleast in private schools. After all we are paying of it!! We have the right to get value for money. But interestingly as we had concluded in one of our other discussion forums, this is a supplier led market. We dont behave like consumers. We dont dictate the brand quality. Instead we allow the brand to define in our minds what quality is.
I think few of us educated parents even look at what constitutes education for our children. Many of these so called soft ware engineers are so low on GK and other soft skills..
I think it was Avvaiyar who said what we have learnt is can be fitted into one's fists while what we have not learnt is the rest of the world.. So how many schools are even making an attempt to go beyond the fist?
Certainly hope the heads of the schools are listening...
so we have another bird in our kitty, welcome umesh, its rare to find indians in india so every soul is precious. its a matter of looking things in a broader prospective or just lateral thinking which is lacking in us the parents. until we change we cannot expect a decent school or schooling for our children.
the foremost step will be retaliating against any issues which is not acceptable to us. how many of us retaliate???. let's start that in reforming the school our children study in it will sure fire in a big way later.
Hi Mayura & Meera,
Just conduct a survey among our youth and ask them who is the Constitution Head in the country, I am sure 90pc would definitely scrubbing there head. Ask them about president or vice president or speaker of our country i am sure hardly anybody would knew it. Yes if you ask them who won the oscar, filmfare, BAFTA awards i am sure the ratio would be reversed. Why not conduct this survey among the teachers of the so called top schools in our country i am sure the success ratio would not be even 10pc. When schools in our country are not aware of our national Maps how can you expect them to teach this to the students. It has purely become commercial where hype projections are being done to fleece the common public.
Installing air conditioners in class rooms, using projector based learning system are good and the concept of innovation are fine, But the teachers should posses stuff to teach them also. Why dont we have audit for schools like we have it for companies, A benchmark, standard guideline or independent nodal agency to actually verify the claims of the schools. Unless that happens i am sure that the schools would be fleecing the parents on some pretext or another.
Meera not the heads of school but also the management of the schools should be also listening
Why only blame the schools for communalism. Our society itself is like that. Just today, we were refused a flat for rent at Kotturpuram by the owner because we are Christians!!!. It seems that he will not give the flat to Christians and Muslims!. Atleast he should have done us a favor by letting the broker know about his prejudice behorehand. We would not have wasted our precious time to go and see that flat. We could have used our scarcely available time from our busy work, to finalize the other flat we saw. Now looks like the other flat we saw earlier also has been taken as we had chosen this flat over that.
this was my deliberation too. that is why i suggested forming a forum to voice our opinion. rather than a nodal agency why not write to Mr. sibal himself. he has so many dreams for our children but he forget that the people who are going to implement it are not capable of the same.
the other day i browsed the cbse bye laws i do not remember correctly i should have noted it down but i did infer that the teachers required only a minimal UG degree or diploma to teach secondary children. i was taken aghast by this. some subjects did off even with an experience in teaching? How this experience is calculated or what is the guiding scale is a huge ????.
when competency to teach is a basic minimum no changes will help.
Is there any kind of transparency in getting to know the knowledge of teachers, how far they are updating themselves, i think all this should be made public by the education department. that is why i wanted to write a RTI get the information and pulish it here.
i would suggest that we each one of us take this initiative to get as many replies as possible in various angles. And guys again, pls do not raise caste issues. discrimination starts from skin colour in India, it is a skin deep issue!!. let us leave it to the younger generation which is having a more broader perspective to such issues than us.
interesting & socially pertinent---this discussion..
my experience is this---i studied in a convent in chennai, it had a mixture of hindus & christians, though i can't remember a single muslim girl studying there in all the 11years i was there..
recently. i had to apply for college(arts & science) adm for my daughter..to my dismay, i found that THE famous christian college in the heart of chennai was giving adm to in-demand courses like b.com, as foll------top marks holders---90% around--got in
otthers---christians were given adm even when they had scored less than other comm. girls..in fact, in the application form of this christian mission-run college, there was acolumn asking if one was a brahmin or non-brahmin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IRONICAL tosay the least!! wonder why they asked for that info???????????
in fact, old-stud. of that college advised us to get recommndn. from some imp. christian ppl in the city!!! can you beat that for caste-based admissions, esp. at college level???
i would like to add this. i studied in a famous convent in chennai---anglo-indian board.. i did not get any mind-stimulating exercises of any sort there..it was only lessons, q & a and tests..
more importantly, the place had mixed caste student population, but we hindus were made to feel as if our culture, traditions & practices were something to be looked down upon...i felt that even after the british had, finally, left us, their legacy was still entrenched here... we were not supposed towear bangles, no flowers except on our b'days or major functions & absolutely no holidays for our festivals, except for a day each for diwali & pongal!!1
the brahmin elders who came there for their wards were always made fun of if they were attired in their traditional costume & woe to any grandfather who dared come with ''tuft''(kudumi)!!1 all this in POST-INDEPENDENT(1970's &80's) india!!!
After reading about the experiences of many parents in www.parentree.in, I am veering around to the view that most private schools in any metro are run by cheats of some kind or the other. Some school administrators have good intentions no doubt, but dont know that they are actually doing great disservice. Sad.
How do children maintain sanity in all this mayhem, I wonder. Sandwiched between parents who thrust aspirations on them and teachers who have lost all relevance in their lives, the children are grinning and bearing it, cherishing the few moments of joy in 12-14 long years of "Vanavas" spent in some school or the other.
To some lucky ones, learning begins when the proverbial 'penny drops' at some point of time in life. Most schools or teachers have nothing to do with this moment.
PSPB claimed a bit of credit for alumnus AR Rahman's Oscar win. In fact, he was expelled, I am told, because of lack of attendance. He certainly did not complete his education there. Nor has he dedicated his Oscar to any of his school teachers!
In some Orwellian's way, can we surmise: All schools are harmful; some are more harmful than others.
You are perfectly right All Schools are harmful: some are more harmful than others. So its like choosing the least devil among them. We can alter the Discussion as " Review of Least Worst CBSE School in Chennai". Since many schools hardly follow the rules in there admission procedures so how can we expect them to instill values among our children.
welcome to the group srihamsa,
now having known that even we parents have ideoligies!!!??? its better to alter the title to parents role in schools. guys, i think it is we who have to bring up the changes in schools rather than blaming the schools for their inefficiency, like we do with our govt.,.... Umesh can tell u what kind of derogatory comments i faced personally ,commenting upon the functioning of a school. With such parents around you cannot expect big changes.
We become spineless infront of the school admn and relent to all their pressures fearing our child's future in that school. How do you then expect to have a better environ in slavery??
Every parent's periphery of interest is around their child alone. only selfless people can bring changes in society. If schools have to be changed we parents have to take the initial steps towads that required change until then all our whims will remain the same.
Am a parent.. of a 9-year old girl who goes to The School KFI. (This info may be useful if I sound biased for a certain kind of school). I have been searching for a good school for my daughter for several years - in Bombay and then in Chennai. We just got her admitted to the KFI School and I sincerely hope it works out.
I also run an education firm which focuses on a certain kind of pedagogy called 'the constructivist' approach. We have a bunch of excellent people who are working on products and services to schools, homeschoolers, parents, etc. So in some sense, I am quite familar with the way school managements operate. The less we talk about it, the better. Frankly, it is a scandal. There are book shops in Chennai which maintain accounts of correspondents and principals of reputed schools (a la Swiss banks) for selecting books and programmes. (facilitation fee?). I feel really sorry for parents.
My advice: parents dont realise that they are powerful. There are umpteen good schools and it doesnt make much difference if the child goes to X or Y school. Schools in Bihar actually produce more IITians than reputed schools in Chennai. So dont ever take any condescending remark. And try and get a school that is open to critical views.. rest of the things will fall in place sooner or later.
And remember this aphorism: There is nothing like a good school or a bad school. But surely there are good teachers and bad teachers. A school that has more good teachers at a point of time may be called a good school (at that point in time). Rest of the criteria about a 'good school' are peripheral, if not irrelevant altogether.
Last year, around this time, I was talking to the head of a school in south Chennai, an acquaintance. The school had hiked the fee three times!! I asked how parents took it. The Head said, no problem. The management had worked it out. 120 children left the school under some pretext or the other. But 140 new children came in. Net 20 at three times fee - in other words, 60 net increase at the old level fee. When one rather bold but disgusted parent tried to gather other parents against the fee hike, the management bought him off!
I still think parents are more powerful than they imagine. The case narrated above ended the way it did because the one parent who rallied others behind him compromised. Sustained collective actions would get errant managements to behave.
i am 200% in you with this. thanks for the enlightenment. i have been discussing the same althrough this discussion. but, you will have to accept one thing, parents dont even imagine they are powerful. the buck stops there.
once the realisation dawns on all of them may be what you state will happen. My only worry is why do people fear to ? wrongs committed against them??? they do not want to, even rally around someone who steps in front to do the same. why not you do something in this regard.
Yes you are extremely right mayura. School Authorities are living in paradise world planning for various activities which would give them TRPs neglecting basic aspects like proper communication with the parents. Inspite of having Mobile Phones, Email and flash news they are more interested in flashing there achievements rather than using the facilities properly. They just would like to get instant recognition like announcing grand plans preceded by well publicity campaign. Many schools even do not have Parent Teacher Association. The parents of the school are lacking the platform to voice there greviance. Infact parentree is boon for parents for atleast it allows likeminded individual to share there greviances. And mind you even the management of many schools will have sleepless nights if all the parents share there greviance.
I would like to comment about Sherwood Hall in Chetpet doing exemplory well. Simple Straightforward education. The management of the school is really good and heard it from my friend whose kid is studying there.
anyways take care guys
This is an interesting forum. But why blame Schools, Managements, teachers alone?? Most of us unknowingly are responsible too!! When will we stop making choices for kids?? When will we take that 'I am always here to help you even when you do not need it' board and throw it away??
For a 3yr old may be, we make choices. For schools, dresses, books et al... But why for a 12yr old?? Why thrust help on kids when they are old enought to make choices?? Parents choose Schools, colleges, sometimes Careers and most hilarious of all, even life partners for our 24-30yr old 'KIDS'!!! It never ends..... Home is the first and best School. Values instilled by us must empower our kids to help themselves and make their decision and choices. Of course we are always there to give opinions and offer assistance. But we as parents can do a lot by self reforming. Most of the parents live their dreams through their kids. That has to stop first!!!
Let us not take our kids to these biased Schools! We can make a choice now!! Why admit Kids to these 'Factory Model Schools'?? A lot of Schools remind me of PRISONS!! Horrifying. Oh, you must experience the attitude of the security Personnel at the gates of some schools!! It's time for change. And we, parents can make it happen by our choices!!!
I cannot agree with you more, Uma Nareen.
First, many parents try to thrust their failed aspirations on their children, mostly unknowingly. And this is at the root of many troubles. Secondly, many of us cannot think beyond our nose and hence can see only limited possibilities in everything except engineering and medicine. We extrapolate this 'newspaper-based' thinking on a child's long term future. Sad.
Here is a concept called 'three circles'.
Think of three circles - one represents what you are passionate about. Second represents what you are good at. Third represents what will drive your revenue stream.
If the three circles merge completely - you are passionate about something, that is what you are good at and that drives your economy too, then life is a breeze. Usually, creative artists, sportspersons, etc fall in this category. Sachin knows nothing but cricket - he is a 12th class pass / fail whatever. Could not speak English when he joined Indian cricket team. Who cares!
If the three circles dont merge completely, there could be some pain somewhere - having to make a 'living' thro something you are good at, but which you are not exactly in love with, etc.
If the three circles are separate and dont touch each other, life is total misery. Revenue ought to be low too since one is not even earning out of what one is good at. Everything becomes a gargantuan task.
We should encourage kids to identify their passions, become good at a few of them and see if one or two of them can generate revenue for them. The idea is to give them enough choices to find their 'calling' and not just land in a job.
As for decent schools in Chennai with some values, I am tempted to count the following. No caste-based admission, very friendly managements & people, parents welcome to teach anytime, school admin welcomes critical suggestions, etc.
1. The School KFI - www.theschoolkfi.org. Check the web space of its director at www.gautama.info
2. Headstart Learning Centre - OMR. Great management. Any parent can meet the parent any time. When I had a family medical emergency, the principal took my daughter home and took care of her - including packing lunch, etc - till we got back to normalcy. Offers IGCSE. Shifting to a new premises on OMR. www.headstartschool.org
3. A pre-school called Budding Minds in Chrompet. Very good people to deal with.
4. Silver & Springs - a small primary school in Mandaiveli run by someone who spent some 2 decades in the US. Very friendly management and teachers. Up to Class 5 only.
Any parent can meet the parent any time. SHOULD READ AS
Any parent can meet the principal any time.
Please read this good piece by Gautama, a good friend and the director of Chennai Education Centre of KFI titled "Would Ramanujan Get a School Certificate Today?"
This is a short note on ISO Certification that schools tout.
1. ISO Certification is about a lot of peripheral things like cleanliness etc. On the day of ISO inspection, schools that seek this certification manage it very well. For eg. in a school in Chennai, where children routinely use chalk to "polish" their dirty canvass shoes, on the ISO inspection day, the "chalk" polish children were told go home early in the day! What if some ISO fellow looks closely and figures that it is chalk? Hence...
2. Teachers' burden goes up like crazy. Lots of lessons plan documents in conformity with ISO guidelines. The little creativity in them is killed anyways since the idea is to conform to guidelines on paperwork.
In short , it is a sham. But then why do schools continue with it? I mean, even the slightly respectable ones?
It is like riding a tiger. Once on ISO bandwagon, getting off would send a signal to parents that the school has "Lost ISO Certification". At least this is what school managements think. Hence the decision to go on and on. Once on ISO, there is no option out unless parents can be convinced.
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